Music Industry Unhappy Over Lybian Ruler’s Private Shows
Mariah Carey, Usher and Beyoncé, have all performed private shows for the family of the murderous dictator of Libya, Muammar el-Qaddafi. I never knew of these private shows but I guess it makes sense that they happen. Money does buy everything in today’s world. But when pop stars already have more money they could ever need, why would they become a simple jester?
Maybe they feel different about the decisions they made to take the gig, but what influenced them in the first place?
Steve Knopper – Rolling Stone
Over the past few years, some of music’s biggest names, including Mariah Carey, Usher and Beyoncé, have taken millions of dollars to play private shows for the family of Libya’s brutal dictator, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi – a man who this week ordered security forces to open fire on citizens protesting his rule, killing as many as “thousands,” according to a UN official. During New Year’s Eve events on the Caribbean island of St. Barts in 2009, Carey received $1 million to sing four songs for one of Colonel Qaddafi’s sons, according to news reports and music-business sources, while Beyoncé and Usher played for an undisclosed fee the following year.
But now that Qaddafi’s security forces have brutally cracked down on protesters throughout Libya, many in the music business are stepping up their public criticisms of the participating stars. “When I saw Beyoncé and Usher and whoever else was out partying with these Libyan criminals … these are people who have stolen tens of billions of dollars from their nation,” says Howie Klein, former president of Reprise Records who is now a prominent leftist blogger. “What they all have in common is they’re all kleptocracies – they’ve got a family stealing all the money. And for very, very wealthy American and British pop stars to take part in this kind of thing makes me want to puke.”